Staring at Gu Wei's phone in her hand, Mu Yue began to feel very… complicated.
Gu Wei's cell phone strap was a little charm that a fan had once given him. The charm was a mochi plush of a chibified version of Gu Wei, and he had kept it attached to his phone for quite a while now. Mu Yue had often noticed it before. It was so cute, so soft. But now, even when the strap bumped up against her hand, she couldn't tear her gaze away from the cell phone screen.
She had just received way too much information from those three little messages. For a moment, she felt like she was having a bewildering out-of-body experience.
Last night. Gu Wei. Had been with Jiang Xun. Right?
So… what exactly happened last night?
And what was this about a husband?
What the hell happened between Gu Wei and Jiang Xun?
The words people had spoken to her when she first entered the industry once again echoed through Mu Yue's ears—
The entertainment industry is so chaotic.
You're entering a wild, wild world.
It's seriously such a hot mess.
No wonder Manager Zhao was so worked up about this. The shippers were right on the money, and it was right to be worried about them. If this got out, Mu Yue was sure those shippers would spontaneously combust.
Their lives were in danger.
"What's wrong?" Gu Wei asked. He leaned back in his seat and observed Mu Yue, noticing that her expression had become somewhat complex.
"It's nothing," Mu Yue answered hastily. She quickly wrapped Gu Wei's phone up in several layers of tissue, then stuffed the phone into her bag and moved her bag as far away from Gu Wei as possible.
Gu Wei cocked his head curiously.
It was a cell phone, not a bomb.
Was his manager's paranoia contagious or something?
The Internet never forgets.
On Weibo, as soon as Gu Wei mistakenly shared the wrong post, a screenshot of his blunder spread like a wildfire through the #FoodForXunWei superchat group.
@Little Hedgehog's Sunny Doll: Lovelies, we have some new delicious fucking food. [image]
@Peppermint Candy: AHHHHHHHHH I know Gu Wei probably just made a mistake here, but I still choose to believe they're flirting! This is too sweet, our ship is sailing!
@Cola Can Do Anything: We have to say it every day… FFXW IS REAL!!! Wahhhhhh, I have entrance exams in a month, but I can't stop coming here for new food. Did Gu Wei just start filming on his new drama? Are they not going to be able to see each other for a while?
@User796756546: Don't you guys get sick of this? Every day, I see your Gu Wei leeching fame from Jiang Xun. Gu Wei has no shame, does he? Fine, he can be shameless, but can he leave Jiang Xun alone? Jiang Xun is literally engaged, he even let his partner use his official training account. This wasn't any kind of mistake, Gu Wei did this on purpose to steal the spotlight. He's just using Jiang Xun and this variety show to draw attention to himself. You guys know exactly how many fans Gu Wei has stolen this way, don't you?
@Little Hedgehog's Sunny Day: @User796756546 Literally fuck off, don't YOU get sick of spouting the same bullshit every day? Is someone paying you to attack Gu Wei all day, every day? Be good and tell jiejie what they're paying you, jiejie will give you ten times as much to shut the hell up. [DoraemonSurprise.jpg]
@Little Hedgehog's Little Snowflake: Sisters, you're all so fierce! [happytears.jpg] I looked at that person's account, they're totally a troll. All they do is diss people. I already reported it.
Five minutes later, Gu Wei's self-proclaimed defense team put up its first Weibo post of the day—
@Little Hedgehog's Defense Squad: Daily report! If you see something, say something. Remember to report trolls when they appear.
Although Gu Wei had plenty of anti-fans, it couldn't be denied that he had lots of genuine fans as well. These fans worked hard and kept their community clean. As soon as one anti was reported in the superchat group, they were summarily removed. Soon enough, peace returned to the group once more.
But since Gu Wei's phone had been confiscated, Gu Wei wasn't around to witness that dispute.
Gu Wei had been swept away by the makeup artist for Like the Moon. Mu Yue, meanwhile, sat in the lounge and scrolled through Weibo. Manager Zhao had asked her to keep an eye on Jiang Ying and a few of Gu Wei's more notorious antis.
And recently, one more person of interest had been added to the list of names for Mu Yue to stalk—
Mu Yue was now of the opinion that this was an extremely necessary precaution to take. She looked over at her own bag, where Gu Wei's phone was still safely tucked away inside. Out of respect, she nudged it a little farther away from herself.
Jiang Ying and Gu Wei feud once again! The inciting incident: a comparison video made by a fan, featuring their pink-haired looks, asking which one pulled it off better!
The fans of these two boys feuded every single day. It would be a cold day in hell if there was ever a moment of peace between them. These constantly warring fan bases were famous throughout the entire entertainment industry.
Mu Yue wasn't interested in that sort of headline; it was simply too ordinary. She swiped on to the next one—
Team TMW members all report the air in their training room is especially fresh today.
Mu Yue lingered over that one.
What kind of headline was that? Was that considered newsworthy or dramatic in the esports world?
That probably didn't have anything to do with Gu Wei. There was no need to report it to Manager Zhao.
Most of the other anti-fans had been effectively hushed by Gu Wei's defense squad. As an assistant, Mu Yue's main responsibility was simply to scroll through and check for anything that could spell disaster for Gu Wei's career. After seeing there was nothing that seemed like it would pose a risk to Gu Wei, Mu Yue exited Weibo.
Gu Wei opened his eyes and looked at his reflection in the makeup artist's mirror. He almost didn't recognize himself.
His hair, which had been dyed back to black for his appearance on the variety show, was no longer black. What replaced it was the signature hair color of Miao Zihan: a rebellious shade of silvery gray.
The recording for Like the Moon was scheduled to go on for quite a while. Gu Wei had a feeling he would need to sport this hair color for quite a while as well.
In order to capture the essence of the character, the makeup artist also deepened the shading at the corners of Gu Wei's pretty peach-petal eyes. The effect was a more arrogant look, fitting of a stubborn teenager who looked upon the world with a somewhat arrogant, conceited attitude.
The first half of Like the Moon revolved around the high school lives of the four main characters. Miao Zihan, Gu Wei's character, was to be a complete rebel during this first half, often skipping class and getting into fights. He constantly argued with his family, and many of the fiercest disputes and conflicts in the first half of the show were incited by Miao Zihan.
Xuan Huitong was already dressed in a school uniform, with her hair down to her shoulders, when she entered the dressing room and greeted Gu Wei with a wave.
She was elegant and friendly, and it was no wonder she was a wildly popular personality in the entertainment industry. Her role on Like the Moon was that of the female lead, Qiao Xi. Since Gu Wei had originally been slated to play the male lead, the two of them had met backstage after an event a while back.
Gu Wei waved back at her. In the mirrors of the dressing room, the two of them could be seen wearing the same school uniform, but their characters were obviously polar opposites.
"You look handsome," Xuan Huitong complimented. "I can see Miao Zihan in you."
Gu Wei stood up and straightened out his coat a little. "You look really nice, too."
"And I like your cologne," Xuan Huitong added. She turned to the mirror and adjusted her hair clip. "It has a really nice woodsy note."
Gu Wei hesitated for a moment before he answered, "…thanks."
He had never been in the habit of wearing cologne, but when she mentioned a 'woodsy note', Gu Wei instantly recalled the natural woodsy fragrance that he often detected from Jiang Xun.
Maybe he had been spending too much time with Jiang Xun these days.
He Cheng entered the room and passed the two of them just then. He waved to Xuan Huitong and deliberately ignored Gu Wei, but Gu Wei was lost in thoughts of this woodsy scent, so he didn't notice He Cheng's presence at all.
Gu Wei, after donning Miao Zihan's costume and getting on set, flashed the cameras a slight smile, as instructed by the photography director. The first set of in-costume cast photos were soon complete.
After the photos were processed, the official Weibo account of Like the Moon released the first batch of cast photos featuring the four main stars. The original novel was immensely popular and had remained a hot topic all throughout its serialization. And, last year, when the TV adaptation was announced, the hype for the series climbed to brand new heights. Now, as soon as the cast photos were released, Like the Moon shot up to the number one trending spot on Weibo in the blink of an eye.
@Plucking Stars: Main guy's plain, supporting actor's hot. As a fan of the book, I guess I'm satisfied with this, but I'll wait to see the finished product before I judge. They'd better not make any super weird changes!
@You're Ugly So Everything You Say Is Wrong: This is such a popular series. Why would they get some little net star like He Cheng to play such a big role?
@Brown Sugar Sponge Cake: Xuan Huitong is way too beautiful, as a book fan I'm super happy with this casting! The supporting actress Ning Yao is super pretty too!
@ahahah: These couples don't look very shippable to me. But Miao Zihan's actor is really good-looking, at least. He totally suits the role. His eyes give off such a great aura.
@Big Orange Chengcheng: Gu Wei's fans are out here spreading misinformation already? His personality is awful, and he totally can't act. He was even replaced as the lead in this, so just go away and stop trying to mislead other people. It's honestly embarrassing to watch.
@Little Hedgehog's Little Snowflake: @Big Orange Gulp What's your problem??? Aren't you people the ones who have been trying to spread misinformation ever since the cast photos came out?
@Chengcheng I Love You: Plagiarists can all die in a fire. There's so much dirt on him that there's no point in you losers trying to wash his image clean. Sooner or later, his career is going to be over.
Underneath the official cast photos, the comments section quickly became a battleground for the fans of each of the actors. There were also plenty of spectators who came for the sole purpose of watching those fans feud.
In TMW's training room, Jiang Xun had just finished a practice match against his teammates when he heard Jiang Ying click his tongue.
Jiang Xun glanced over at the door. "You're still here?"
Jiang Ying had moved a little stool over to the door to the training room, and he was still hanging out there. Everyone knew of his and Jiang Xun's relationship, and they knew of Jiang Ying's awful temper as well, so nobody messed with Jiang Ying when he visited.
"What are you looking at?" Jiang Xun asked, getting up and moving to stand next to Jiang Ying.
"Surveilling the enemy," Jiang Ying said.
"Haven't I already told you?" Jiang Xun sighed. "You put so much effort into your feuds. If you put even half that effort into your acting instead, you wouldn't have so many anti-fans."
"That's not my style," Jiang Ying said, waving a hand dismissively. He was attacked all the time online; he was used to it by now. "You can't mix work and pleasure, and this stuff is my hobby. Life is boring without a hobby, y'know."
Collecting dirt on your competition didn't seem like much of a hobby to Jiang Xun, but he was too lazy to argue with his little brother about it. Instead, he asked, "What's going on with your nemesis right now?"
"This." Jiang Ying lifted up his cell phone so Jiang Xun could see the screen. "Official cast photos from his new drama. It looks like he's playing a character in the same profession as you, and I'm thinking… if I dyed my hair this silver-gray color, I could pull it off way better. Too bad I won't get a chance to do that anytime soon."
Jiang Xun peered at the photos on the screen. When Gu Wei left the club that morning, his hair had still been a cute and ordinary black color, perfectly suiting a sweet and well-behaved boy. It was just last night that Jiang Xun had run his fingers through those soft locks. Now, only half a day later, the little idol looked completely different.
Gu Wei was more than attractive enough to pull off a hairstyle like that, and the minor touches the makeup artist had added to the makeup around his eyes gave him a wild and reckless look. It perfectly suited the character of a spirited youth. In the photo, Gu Wei was dressed in his character's team uniform. The smile he flashed for the camera gave off the impression that he was already comfortably in character.
So this was Gu Wei's portrayal of Miao Zihan. These past few days, Jiang Xun had noticed all the notes Gu Wei scribbled in his script. He knew exactly how much effort Gu Wei had put into researching and preparing for his role.
"Looking good," he praised.
"Yeah, it's not bad," Jiang Ying absently agreed. "I think we're going to finish filming our dramas at around the same time, and they'll probably be aired at around the same time, too. We'll probably get to clash again, so…"
Before he could finish speaking, he saw Jiang Xun lift a hand and tap the 'like' button on the screen, giving a like to the Like the Moon cast photos.
"Why?" Jiang Ying asked, baffled and betrayed. "That's my nemesis."
"Your nemesis is pretty good-looking," Jiang Xun explained, as though that perfectly justified his actions. "I'm just expressing my admiration."
"Well, alright," Jiang Ying said, somewhat reluctantly. He supposed Jiang Xun was free to like whatever he wanted. There was nothing Jiang Ying could do about that.
Jiang Xun blinked at Jiang Ying's cell phone. He suddenly frowned slightly as he got the feeling that he was forgetting something.
"But is your fiancé not hot enough or something? Why do you have to 'admire' my nemesis?" Jiang Ying continued to complain. "Do you really have to pay so much attention to my rival? You should be more devoted, you know, or else I'll tell Mom on you."
As he grumbled, he lowered his phone and also got the sensation that he was forgetting something.
A minute later, Jiang Xun, who hadn't figured out what that feeling of forgetfulness was all about, had already returned to his training. Jiang Ying, who was still staring at his phone, finally realized what had just gone wrong.
"FUCK!" he screamed. "Jiang Xun, you bastard! You horny motherfucker! This is my Weibo account!"
Yi Qing, with her hair in disarray and a lollipop in her mouth, was just passing the competitive team's training room when Jiang Ying's hollering startled her into nearly tripping over her own feet.